Thursday, April 24, 2014

DIY Denim Phone Case [No-Sew]

By "denim phone case," I mean attaching denim to a phone case. Not creating a phone pocket/cover out of a jeans pocket.

Trust me, this is a lot easier said than done. It sounds like "oh, I'm just going to glue some jeans fabric onto a phone case." But contrary to my expectations, this was actually a difficult task.
I'm going to provide pictures for almost every step I took.

You'll need:
  • A cheap, flat, plastic (hardshell) phone case. It doesn't matter what color.
  • Some baby jeans. You can thrift them or use old ones. You can use any jeans (not just baby ones) if you want plain denim or you're okay with using a bigger pocket. However, I wanted to use the part of the pocket that has the smaller coin pocket, so I used baby jeans.
  • A hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Stich ripper
1. Cut roughly the size of denim you'll need. You can cut through pocket and pocket lining. It'll all come together again later with hot glue. Cut more rather than less if you're not sure. Remember to give extra fabric space for the sides of the phone case, not just the back. Be sure to cut in straight lines, you'll thank me for this later. Now, stitch rip off any belt loops. They just get in the way and don't make the piece look any better.

2. Line up one of the long edges of denim with the edge of the phone case (you'll want to use the side that doesn't have the volume buttons) and hot glue that edge to the phone case. Make sure the "wrong side" of the fabric is touching the outside of the phone case. For the corners, it's okay to leave some phone case showing. You can cover that up later.
Note: You might need to individually hot glue each layer on (each layer of the pocket lining, plus the denim itself).
3. Cut out the camera hole. This is tricky. X-Acto knives don't help, by the way. Just fold it and make a slit to make the opening, then cut a bigger hole from there. If the pocket lining gets in the way, cut a square hole in the lining. This will allow you to make the camera hole only in the denim, not the lining so it's easier to do. This is not an essential part of the lining because it's not part of the pocket.
 The reason we waited to do the camera hole now is to ensure that it's placed correctly.
4. Hot glue the denim to the other side of the phone case. Start at the top of the case. I advise you to cut off all the fabric at that corner of the phone case right next to the buttons and add it back later (I learned this the hard way, which is why the fabric is still there in the picture). Now cut out the necessary square of fabric for the buttons. If your phone case has plastic between the buttons, ignore that for now and add it back later. After this, you should trim as you glue for the rest of that phone case side. By this I mean trim 1cm, glue that 1cm, trim 1cm, glue 1cm, and continue. Don't try to trim after gluing, because you can't cut close enough to the phone case once the fabric is on (I learned this the hard way as well).
5. Glue the final side to the phone case: the bottom.
6. Go back to the corner above the volume buttons (and the "silent" button). Add a piece of fabric there where it's empty. Add denim to all the other corners too where it's empty.
7. If your phone case has a piece of plastic between the "silent" button and the volume buttons like mine, you might want to add a piece of denim there now.
8. Add fabric wherever need be. If you want, you can add denim in the front like I did.
9. All done! Let's see the finished product.


Side (yes, that's a pen mark. Oops)

Yes, that's a functioning pocket!

The end. Overall, I think it's a cool project to take on. It's kinda fun and it got me thinking and problem-solving. It's not very difficult so it's not much of a challenge since it's hot gluing and not sewing. I probably won't use this phone case because it does look kid-made and it's lumpy and asymmetrical (notice how the right side's strip of denim is fatter?). If it weren't for that, I'd definitely use it. Otherwise, I'm keeping it as a backup. I'm still glad I did this project because it's an accomplishment and it looks cool for display purposes.

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